How to Hustle in South Florida During Super Bowl LIV

One way to make extra money during Super Bowl week is driving for Uber or Lyft.
One way to make extra money during Super Bowl week is driving for Uber or Lyft. Courtesy of Lyft
You’re going to hear a lot in the coming weeks about the Super Bowl’s economic impact on South Florida. Be forewarned that the dollar figures the Super Bowl host committees toss around every year tend to be greatly exaggerated according to many economists. But accurate or not, there’s no denying there’s money to be made with the influx of tourists in town for Super Bowl week. And it’s not just high-end hotels, clubs, and restaurants that will reap the benefits: For better or worse, we live in the gig economy era, and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone in South Florida to make extra cash.

Here are a few (legal) ways to take advantage of the Super Bowl in our backyard:

Airbnb host: During last year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, locals who rented out their homes or spare bedrooms via Airbnb each made nearly $700 on average, according to Airbnb. Not too shabby. Airbnb says more than 11,000 guests have already booked lodging for the Super Bowl this time around, and the home-sharing platform puts the average daily room rate at $136. Those of you interested in becoming an Airbnb host should check with your local government first to see if your zone allows Airbnb. If so, obtain the necessary license and certificate or risk legal ramifications. You’ll also need to pay fees upfront, which is why hosts who are in it for the long haul stand to see the greatest profits.

Uber or Lyft driver: Nobody likes getting stuck in Miami traffic, let alone Super Bowl-week-in-Miami traffic. But if you can stomach the bumper-to-bumper madness, you could make extra cash by driving people to and from hotels, parties, and the big game. You probably won’t be able to pay off your car loan with the money you earn (there should be plenty of drivers on the road looking for fares, which can keep surge pricing from skyrocketing), but on the bright side, you can set your own hours. To get started, make sure your car meets the requirements for Uber and Lyft. (Spoiler alert: Your abuelo’s lemon ain’t gonna cut it.)

Street vendor or street performer: Plenty of out-of-towners with brutal hangovers will be roaming the streets of Miami. And when there’s no Walgreens or CVS in sight to quench their thirst, street vendors shilling bottles of water and Gatorade will step in to save the day. The sun can be unrelenting, and the local laws can be burdensome, but street vendors — including those selling everything from football merch to churros — know this week could be their best of the year if they play their cards right. Check with your local officials to see which zones allow street vendors and what sort of certification is necessary. Same goes for street performers. We see you, living statues!

Uber Eats or Postmates delivery driver: Not everyone in Miami wants to hit the town come Super Bowl week. Some plan to do the exact opposite to avoid the hordes of jersey-wearing football fans and headache-inducing traffic jams. And that’s where food delivery services such as Uber Eats and Postmates come in. They’ll need drivers (and scooter and bike riders) to deliver grub to people who have locked themselves in their homes and those hosting Super Bowl watch parties. You can start making deliveries once you apply and pass the background check. If you’re already an Uber driver and need a break from passengers (and we don’t blame you if you do), you simply need to “opt-in” to make Uber Eats deliveries.

Exotic dancer: Strip clubs are a hotbed for high-rollers during Super Bowl week, which is why some dancers travel far and wide to Super Bowl host cities in search of work. They’ve heard the stories, like the one about Lil Wayne tossing around so much cash at a Dallas strip club after the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl that the place ran out of singles. But with so many dancers in town looking for work and only so many shifts to go around, it’s important to temper expectations. Not every shift will be busy. And not every customer is Lil Wayne.

Security guard: You don’t need to look like a Bond movie henchman to work in security. There are different kinds of security — including crowd control and entry point inspection — which can be done by people of various shapes and sizes. You might, however, need a Florida Class D Security License, which involves a 40-hour training course. If you're up to the task, various companies are looking to hire security for Super Bowl week. S.A.F.E Management needs security guards to work the Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium and pays $15.50 to $17.50 per hour.

Autograph hound: They’re the ire of stars such as George Lucas, Rebel Wilson, Roger Daltrey, and Jordan Spieth, but autograph seekers — the ones holding memorabilia and folders of glossy photos outside hotels and red carpets with the intention of selling whatever gets signed — aren’t going anywhere. It can be an easy way to make some extra cash, especially during Super Bowl week, when countless celebs will make scheduled appearances all over the city. Is it sleazy? Kind of. But it’s legal. Just be respectful. And for your own good, maybe stay away from Cardi B and Offset.
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Luis Gomez left his life in Chicago to backpack around the world and has since dedicated himself to freelance writing, with Miami now his home base. You can read about his global adventures on his travel blog, Extra Underwear.